Patti Soldavini

Ode to Idgy

In Uncategorized on 04/23/2011 at 9:42 pm

Idgy The Wonder Dog (1993-2009)

By some weird twist of fate, my beloved Idgy’s birthday was like Olive’s, also in April. So as I have unconsciously paused to remember Idgy throughout this month, it occurred to me the other day how different Olive is from Idgy. And, how much alike they are. On many levels, I am comparing apples to oranges. Sheep to penguins. Or mice to men. I didn’t meet Idgy until she was two years old, just past the puppy stage that Olive is still in. And what is freshest in my mind are the years Idgy spent in decline. Idgy was a “multiple pedigree” pooch while Olive is a “single pedigree” pooch. Idgy was white with caramel colored spots, Olive is grey with taupe highlights in the right light. Idgy was content to curl up into a tiny fetal ball and lay on her donut bed. Olive likes to fully stretch out and recline on top of the BACK of the couch until she is lodged between the couch and the wall. Idgy had saucer-like chocolate brown eyes that exuded kindness. Olive’s striking amber eyes exude a barely controlled mania. Idgy loved being part of what was going on, including dressing up for Halloween. Olive thrives on being around people and activity but prefers at this stage to eat her Halloween costume. Idgy was unfailingly protective and loving. So is Olive. Idgy was inquisitive and when she cocked her head to look at me while I was speaking, it created the distinct impression that she was listening attentively… and comprehending. In fact, a stranger once remarked about Idgy, “That dog looks like it can talk.” I think what was inferred was that Idgy looked intelligent. She was. In fact, I fell in love with Idgy the day she spoke to me. Standing in my friend’s kitchen, she looked directly into my eyes and then slowly turned her head to stare at the kitchen faucet. And then she slowly turned her head back to me, fixing her big brown eyes on mine. “MY GOD, SHE SPOKE TO ME. SHE WANTS A DRINK OF WATER.” The realization came with the swiftness of a bolt of lightening. That was all it took. After that I was totally connected to that dog. Olive looks at me in a similar way when I speak to her. The only difference is this. I look into Olive’s eyes and I “see” her mentally considering how to outwit me. One of my other favorite memories of Idgy is her very humanlike reaction to seeing a dead deer on the side of the road, (which if you live in New Jersey, dot the roadways like inflated brown traffic cones) just a few feet from her as she stood with her front paws planted on the passenger seat armrest, her head out the window elevated above the roof line like a hood ornament. Looking at her from the driver’s seat, in the space of seconds, I saw her ears express surprise and shock while her body simultaneously recoiled, expressing revulsion at what she saw…and smelled. Her reaction was priceless. I’m not sure how Olive would have reacted. She’s still at the stage where she runs away from plastic bags blowing in the wind. I know one thing for sure. My heart is bigger because of both Idgy and Olive.

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